James Robinson

Photography

I post photos to Instagram, and my blog Darkness Visible.

My family had an old Kodak Autographic Junior as a curio and I think maybe this got me interested in cameras. My first real camera was a Russian Zenit, but I’ve used Rolleiflex and Voigtländer TLRs, a Rollei SL35, an Olympus OM-2, Voigtländer Bessa, and a Leica III. I love cameras but it feels like I’ve only recently begun to learn how to take a decent picture.

For me, the most instructive book has been Bryan Peterson’s Understanding Photography Field Guide. It really helped me grasp the mechanics of capturing images and the range of “creative exposure” options that might result in a great shot.

Most of my photos are taken with a Sony Alpha A7R. It’s small, light and has a bunch of excellent lenses. And there are plenty of adapters for E mount that let me play with other glass.

The Sony A7R is a great camera. It handles low light situations, the Zeiss glass is spectacular, and it has helped me to learn more about photography — taking multiple shots using different settings and instantly being able to see the results is a pretty good way to understand aperture and how a camera responds to light.

I also use a Fuji GSW 690II, a monster 6x9 medium format rangefinder with a 65mm lens. The Fuji medium format GS and GSW cameras were often used to take photos of tour bus groups in Japan. I'm hoping to take landscape photos with it.